In July of 2004, singer-songwriter Kev Rowe released an all-acoustic first solo CD, 'Brown Book'. 'Brown Book' would be the culmination of many years of experience for Rowe as he has long been a fixture in the original music community. As lead guitarist for roots rock band Big Leg Emma, and lead singer/songwriter for his first touring band 5 Cubic Feet, he has amassed a wide range of skills and styles as a writer and musician. This all contributes in making 'Brown Book' a one-of-a-kind creation. All of the tracks were written and arranged by Kev. He sings, plays acoustic guitar, and piano. He has a unique skill of intricate guitar playing with warm, soothing vocal melodies. His compositions are layered with thought-provoking and intimate lyrics. In his writing, Kev's greatest desire is to reach beyond the superficial and move people to something very deep and unique. Some of his songwriting influences include James Taylor, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Ben Folds and John Denver. Currently, Rowe is spearheading the indie record label J.A.M.town Records while planning a prolific solo career. Kev Rowe's commitment to original music is something he is very passionate and sincere about, a devotion that is truly felt in listening to his music. Kev Rowe picked up his first electric guitar at the age of sixteen and was immediately fascinated with it. He played incessantly for hours a day, writing unique melodies and creating his own inventive style. For Kev, the guitar was an opportunity where anything was possible. It was a chance to create his own little world. As a self-taught guitarist, he developed a unique approach to composing complex instrumental pieces, and drawing on many styles as a writer and guitarist. Playing music was a refreshing new spiritual journey for Kev, one he knew very early he would commit his life to. Eight months after playing his first note Kev Rowe created his first band, 5 Cubic Feet. As a small town band out of Jamestown, NY, 5 Cubic Feet continued growing it's career throughout high school and college. The band would eventually produce two CDs and tour on a national level with Rowe as the lead singer, lead guitarist and songwriter. During this era he would find his voice as a singer and prolific craftsman, delving deep into his work and writing hundreds of songs. All while his band was very experimental, developing it's sound and style from Jam rock to blues to groove rock to world music. The band would become very accomplished and recognized on the touring circuit. Eight years and four tour vans later, it was time for Kev to make a change. It took roots rock band Big Leg Emma only two weeks to come knocking on Rowe's door. It would be here that he would learn the fundamentals of roots rock discovering music such as folk, bluegrass, and reggae. Kev greatly appreciates this new musical journey with Big Leg Emma, delighting fans with his crisp guitar riffs and infectious melodies. He continues to contribute his songwriting abilities to Big Leg Emma, and is now enjoying a solo career. Throughout his career Rowe has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with: Little Feat, 10,000 Maniacs, The Wailers, The Del McCoury Band, Donna the Buffalo, Moe, The Derek Trucks Band, Mike Glabicki of Rusted Root, The Horseflies, Keller Williams, The Campbell Brothers and many others. Reviews: I'm privileged to write about a longtime friend whom I am also a longtime fan of. Local guitar-guru Kevin Rowe has just released his first solo CD, a collection of his own songs titled 'Brown Book'. Kev Rowe is a venerable fixture in our music scene. A founding member of 5 Cubic Feet and now the lead guitarist of Big Leg Emma, Rowe is no stranger to recording or performing. This experience as well as Rowe's kind and soulful wisdom come together in twelve textured tracks with a traditional style for songwriting. Recorded mostly at Jamestown's Stone House Studios, 'Brown Book' was mixed and mastered by Rowe's former 5 Cubic Feet partner, Ryan Seekings at Allsound Group in Warren, PA. Rowe's current Big Leg Emma bandmate and local fiddle favorite Amanda Barton also appears throughout the disc. Collaboration is a big musical motivation for Rowe. He credits his experiences with Big Leg Emma for pushing him creatively. In fact, 'Eyes So Blue,' the first track on Brown Book has been recorded by Big Leg Emma as well and will be included as the second track on BLE's upcoming album, this time with Barton singing lead. Rowe has created an acoustic gem with Brown Book. He sings deeply personal stories told against the backdrop of masterfully connected instruments. Kevin's style easily reminds the listener of great classic songwriters like Lightfoot and Kristopherson. The production value of Brown Book is exactly what you hope for out of an acoustic album or even a fresh picked apple: clean, crisp, and delicious. The instrumentation is flawless. Rowe's mastery of melody is as evident on Brown Book as it is in any of his guitar performances. Like many singer/songw r i t e r s, Rowe's songs could seem sappy at times, but other times they grab you by the heart and you find yourself hanging on every note. His unique singing quality is similar. On some tracks he may sound a little like Barenaked Ladies, on others Rowe embodies his own sound altogether. Track four on Brown Book, 'Comfort Me,' is possibly the sweetest song you'll ever hear. Incidentally, it is the only track on the album Rowe didn't write alone. Possibly the track seems so romantic because he wrote it with his soon-to-be bride. I'm also quite fond of track ten, 'Natural Melody' as well as the reworking of the 5 Cubic Feet classic, 'Old Man in Me.' Both offer masterful instrumentation and inventive vocal melodies worth listening to. If you like the singer/songwriter genre, you should support a local favorite, and pick up a copy of Brown Book today. Tell Kevin Rev. Salamone sent ya'! 4 out of 5 stars.